Human growth hormone. Its use and abuse

Clin Lab Med. 1990 Sep;10(3):473-7.


The use of hGH may become a significant challenge to the sports world. Scientific and ethical questions regarding its use may become more pressing if synthetic hGH becomes available to the public. The potential appeal of hGH to athletic competitors is obvious, but at present no benefits of this hormone as an ergogenic aid have been clearly demonstrated. Indeed, clinical experience with acromegalics suggests that prolonged exposure to elevated doses of hGH produces detrimental neuromuscular responses. Perhaps an even more intense ethical issue concerns the use of hGH in children and adolescents. The use of hGH to increase height and thereby increase chances for athletic success may be tempting to both coaches and parents. Athletes, parents, coaches, and team physicians must be aware that hGH has not been shown to enhance athletic performance and that its potential long-term side effects are irreversible and even may be life threatening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Growth Hormone* / adverse effects
  • Growth Hormone* / deficiency
  • Growth Hormone* / pharmacology
  • Growth Hormone* / physiology
  • Growth Hormone* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Sports


  • Growth Hormone